SCI/TECH: UK, US Criticized by Scientists

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posted on Oct, 27 2004 @ 07:18 PM
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The UK is being criticized for failing to give enough emphasis to science in its policy making, as is the USA, according to a report published today in The Scientist. The UK criticisms were levelled mainly at Britain’s Department for International Development. In the USA, reports say senior Bush administration officials ask scientists about their political affiliations and policy positions when interviewing them for federal government advisory committees. In addition, the Bush administration routinely “misapplied” and “overused” the appointment of committee members as “representatives” – an official designation meaning that ‘scientific’ advisors do not have to file financial disclosure forms, disclose conflicts-of-interest or even, present objective viewpoints – according to an audit by the congressional General Accounting Office.
 



www.biomedcentral.com
“The criticisms, which parallel those of the Bush administration in the United States, struck a chord within the science community. …“Policy solutions which are based on no science or bad science can be costly, both in terms of resources and reputation…” ”


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Science advisors influence funding and policies for public health, the economy, and environment. The Integrity of Science Working Group survey released in September found that an overwhelming majority (84 percent) of Americans believe the federal government has an important role to play in scientific research. Two-thirds strongly believe government science should not be political, and that experts’ party affiliation or political views should not be criteria for serving on government scientific advisory panels.


Related News Links:
www.biomedcentral.com
www.savebritishscience.org.uk
www.ucsusa.org
www.ucsusa.org

[edit on 27-10-2004 by Banshee]




posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 01:47 AM
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Could it be that the US federal govt doesn't dump money into science because private industries are happy to do it themselves for the sake of making a buck? Doesn't really sound that strange to me. The work gets done and the discoveries are made all the same.



posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 02:36 AM
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Originally posted by veritas93
Could it be that the US federal govt doesn't dump money into science because private industries are happy to do it themselves for the sake of making a buck? Doesn't really sound that strange to me. The work gets done and the discoveries are made all the same.


Veritas, the gov't does in fact dump large amounts of money into science. While private industries do pick up fledgling technologies that show promise the majority of research in this country is gov't funded. The company I work for is a small private, for-profit organization, and is funded ENTIRELY by gov't money. I am in fact working on a grant to plead for more currently. Of all the scientists I've interacted with, exactly 1 was funded privately. Even 'private' ventures, such as Venter's Celera are largely funded by gov't grants.



posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 02:40 AM
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So I assume that the very fact that you're having to ask for more money supports the claim that the US falls a bit short in this arena? That would truly be a shame and a bit embarrassing.



posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 10:15 AM
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So I assume that the very fact that you're having to ask for more money supports the claim that the US falls a bit short in this arena? That would truly be a shame and a bit embarrassing.


The grant is actually for the development of a new and different product... new product requires new money. My personal opinion is not that the money isn't there, just that it's slated for particular purposes. If it doesn't get used, it doesn't roll over. Money that's slated for molecular biological studies of cancer will never get used for preventative nutritional mediated remedies. Again, in my opinion, the US is ahead in some scientific arenas, and behind in others... not in all areas of science. This could be a reflection on cultural priorities though. For example, prostate cancer diagnostics are not as evolved in this country as in Japan. Coincidentally, it kills more people in the Pacific rim than it does here.



posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 12:04 PM
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Maybe i read it wrong... but it appeared to critisize the government because the people that are in charge of deciding what grants to approve, are appointees, that are chosen for thier political affiliation instead of intellegence or experience... and that the Bush administration has "given" appointments as favors instead of rewards for achievment.

We need to have the best and the brightest in these appointments, or else we end up with money pit "star wars" type programs or Particle colliders that could blow up the world without proper oversight.... Or even pet projects of the appointees themselves (a bad enough scandal itself),
instead of good progressive science that is for the good of mankind...



posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Maybe i read it wrong... but it appeared to critisize the government because the people that are in charge of deciding what grants to approve, are appointees, that are chosen for thier political affiliation instead of intellegence or experience... and that the Bush administration has "given" appointments as favors instead of rewards for achievment.

Laz, You didn't read it wrong. I was just addressing veritas' specific comments.



posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 06:29 PM
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... the Bush administration has "given" appointments as favors instead of rewards for achievment.

We need to have the best and the brightest in these appointments, or else we end up with money pit "star wars" type programs or Particle colliders that could blow up the world without proper oversight.... Or even pet projects of the appointees themselves (a bad enough scandal itself),
instead of good progressive science that is for the good of mankind...


....I think it's worse than giving favors - it's about pushing the corporate agenda without regard to the science - and funneling the money to buddies.






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